Retired OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital nurse returns as patient for lifesaving cancer care.
Lynda McInturf, retired teacher and former O’Bleness nurse, routinely goes for mammogram screenings. During a seemingly normal screening, her technician found a small spot on the edge of the mammogram image.
“She wanted to look at it through a sonogram,” Mrs. McInturf said, remembering that day. “That’s when she found it.”
Mrs. McInturf would later be diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. “My mother had it later in her life,” she recalled. “They told me it really wouldn’t affect my chances. But, I guess it did.”
Proactive. Determined. Courageous.
After receiving the difficult news, she reached out to her sister for help – who quickly recommended Dr. Mark Cripe, an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in Columbus. Dr. Cripe immediately deemed the spot suspicious. After a biopsy, he confirmed that Mrs. McInturf – just like her mother – had breast cancer. Following some discussion, Dr. Cripe confidently referred Lynda to O’Bleness Hospital in her hometown of Athens for radiation oncology treatment after her surgery.
“One thing about it is I didn’t want to have the treatment at O’Bleness,” she stated candidly. “I didn’t think they were up to date enough. I spoke with Dr. Cripe, and he felt they had state-of-the-art equipment. He felt they were competent to run my treatment. That relaxed me a little bit,” she sighed with relief. Mrs. McInturf did not know O’Bleness Hospital had recently added radiation to its cancer care treatments – the exact same state of the art technology offered in Columbus. While in the past it would have been necessary to drive out-of-town to receive care, Mrs. McInturf could stay close to home. “It made it much easier to receive care in Athens rather than having to drive to Columbus or any other place.”
Certified Expertise, Compassionate Care.
Before deciding to become a middle school teacher, Mrs. McInturf was a nurse at O’Bleness Hospital. Much had changed in the decades since her employment – and the change was for the betterment of the community.
Since 2014, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital has made tremendous improvements, especially in oncology. Within the newly constructed oncology area is space dedicated to chemotherapy and radiation treatments for increased privacy and comfort.
In addition, O’Bleness has become a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. This affiliation is only obtained by adhering to strict clinical guidelines and treatment based on national guidelines of cancer care and best practices established by MD Anderson. This has allowed the hospital to enhance its standard of care. Our certified physicians can conduct peer-to-peer consultations with MD Anderson physicians and provide seamless care, with no additional actions required from our patients.
O’Bleness is doing everything it can to ensure it is providing the highest quality of care possible without compromising convenience. Its physicians can confirm treatment plans and offer state of the art ways to treat individuals with cancer. In addition, OhioHealth has access to select clinical trials at MD Anderson. This allows patients to seek leading-edge medicine close to home.
A New Outlook on Life, A Renewed Confidence in O’Bleness.
Mrs. McInturf was able to treat her cancer with radiation therapy, administered by Dr. David Howell, also an MD Anderson Cancer Network certified physician. “My experience with him was very good. He very much appealed to me because of his sense of humor. He had a lot of facts and knowledge,” she recalled warmly. “He presented them to me in a positive way that made me relax a little bit. That’s very important when you have something like I did. I was scared.”
When it came to providing exceptional care, Dr. Howell was in good company. His expertise and dynamic personality, as well as the compassion of the staff, were welcome additions to Mrs. McInturf’s already-strong support system, including her husband, family members and church congregation.
“This experience has changed me in many ways,” Mrs. McInturf said. “It has made me stronger. It changed the way I looked at O’Bleness. I wouldn’t hesitate to tell anyone to receive their care there. It’s nice to know that I can receive the same level of care close to home as I can in another city.”
Cancer care in Athens
At OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital, we’re honored to provide the most complete cancer care closest to our neighbors, friends and family.